Social Media is the Great Equalizer:  Large or small, old or new, nonprofit or commercial, any organization and any individual can utilize social media to communicate with clients, customers or comrades.

Social media is about engagement- meaningful two way communications, not just ‘fire and forget’ or ‘dump and run’.

Jonah Berger’s “Contagious- Why Things Catch On” and Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” discuss success and failures; which I will discuss below.  Berger boils down successful communication into six ‘stepps’:  Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value and Stories.  Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” deals with a message’s life cycle and the point where it will either catch on or never will.

Many social media formats and combinations.  Social media’s many media mediums: written word, pictures, videos or just plan verbal.  Some of the most common social media platforms are:

     Facebook– social and commercial, runs the full spectrum of social media.

     Twitter– for minimalists, small content, but a powerful reach.

     Youtube– video capital and Pintrest & Flickr– for posting pictures.

     Blogs are a combination- what the blogger feels most comfortable utilizing. Blogs allow anyone to post their ideas, opinions or even products on the internet for the world to consume, assuming that you can get the world to view and engage.

Size does not matter.  Social media does not require a large budget and huge staff; it is truly a communications and advertising equalizer; only quality and engagement matters.  So maybe for once, your mom’s basement is a good starting place.

Engagement is the key– This is not a ‘fire and forget’ communications system like television or radio.  As much as possible, replying to comments and utilizing comment feedback increases engagement, credibility and trust.

Two sources of revenue– First source of revenue is the product or service advertised.  Second, based on views, likes and clicks, and the ‘voodoo’ algorithm determines how much interest and how much money sponsors/advertises want to pay you to use your site.  The more likes, clicks and comments, the greater the chances advertises will be interested in your site.  If making money is not your thing, no need to worry.

Mini-case Study:

          Where advertising and entertainment meet.  Art15 Clothing, Ranger Up and Grunt Style.  All veteran owned, all produce and sell ‘veteran’ style apparel, all advertise on social media with varying degrees of success.  Think Berger: Entertainment becomes ‘top of mind’ becoming ‘tip of tongue’. I define success as likes, views and comments.  I have no skin in the veteran apparel industry, I was not a ‘grunt’, ‘ranger’ or ‘operator’ and feel ashamed to wear such warrior clothing in public.

     Art15 Clothing is the clear leader of the three.  Their Youtube videos usually have over 750,000 views and hundreds of comments.  In all fairness, their videos are more costly to produce, have more action, more special effects, more booze and more scantily clad women.  Can I get a ‘Hooah!!’??

     Ranger Up is in the middle, with views between 50,000 and 100,000; a few of their Youtube videos have gotten over 500,000 views.  Their videos are well made but contain less action, special effects and no scantily clad women.

     Grunt Style is rear security, but not by far.  Their Youtube videos are more similar to Ranger Up then Art15 Clothing, and are fun to watch.

What does this all mean?

I assessed the various types of blogs and social media sites and came up with the following analysis:

Failure to Launch- explainable: overall poor product: whatever the social medium, the product is terrible:  subject matter, badly grammaed and pore speling; boaring topics, videos feature awful awptics and voice over.  We have seen these sites and cannot shake the vision from our memory.  Their computer should be taken away…forever.

Failure to Launch- unexplainable: excellent product: well written, relevant topics, mix of self-deprecating humor and intellectual content is just right, almost professional videos, yet the blog/social media site does not get meaningful views.

The Circus Tent: views spike and drop, spike and drop, looking like a circus tent.  Product or viewership is very inconsistent.

The Rocket: views immediately take off, almost exponential viewership curve- success has arrived!  This site does no wrong and is the envy of all bloggers and social media mavens.  Advertisers are lining up and money is raining down.

The Mountain: slow viewership incline reaching an enviable peak, then slowly tapers off into nothingness.

The Hound: moves quickly to nowhere- starts off fast, the viewer line rises, then flat lines forever.   Product is consistent, with a solid, stable, stagnant viewership and yet no one new seems to care.

The Hare: starts, stops, frequent change of direction, topic and even social media medium.  Truly going around in circles.

The Turtle: slow and steady, plodding and creeping, heading upward in an almost unnoticeable incline, success is slowly building.

Is social media right for you and your organization?  The answer is more than likely ‘yes’.  However, it depends on how well your social media targets your customers/clients and how good is your social medium product.

Social media might not make you a success but it does make you equal.

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